Market To Mondays – Part 7

Welcome to the latest edition of our new weekly blog series, Market To Mondays. Each week, we will introduce you to a new group of people you should market to. We’ll tell you who they are, why you should market to them, and how you might get started.

Last week’s group was Your Competitor’s Customers.

Today’s Group = The Press

The press can be your best friends. Companies that know how to market to the press know that a product, a brand, or an entire industry can be made by good media coverage.

But it doesn’t happen on its own. You need to learn how to treat the press as a marketing audience all its own that needs your attention.

When you learn how to properly market to the press, you can get them to sell your story for you. Instead of spending millions of dollars buying ads, you get broadcast to the masses for free. And you get the benefit of third-party credibility on your side, helping to convince wary customers that you offer quality products or services.

But how?

Marketing to the press is a different animal entirely from marketing to potential customers. The companies that do it well have worked hard to get where they are.

The first option you have is to retain the services of an establish public relations firm. They have the relationships with media companies, writers, reporters, and editors that you covet. They can help you with strategy, refine your message, and do lots and lots of outreach. The only downside is that the right PR firm will cost you a good chunk of your marketing budget (maybe more than you have if you’re just starting out).

The second option is to go it on your own. This is much more difficult, but not impossible.

First, you can use an online distribution company like PRWeb to put out press releases. Tell the story of your company through these releases, but make sure what you’re putting out is actually news-worthy.

Then, host these releases in a “press section” on your website. It might be on your blog, or under News. Wherever it is, make it easy for members of the media to find if they come across your site.

Put someone in charge of press relations and provide their contact information with every release and clearly on the site. This gives members of the media someone to contact if they’re interested in learning more about you or your story.

Develop a list of publications, reporters, and bloggers in the space that cover your industry. Start reaching out to them with news related to your company. Establish a relationship with them and ask them what kinds of stories they are looking for.

Services like HARO and Cision allow you to monitor press inquiries and activities so that you know who needs stories, and what subjects are being covered. Again, this requires someone to stay on top of press relations and act quickly when opportunities come up.

No matter how you do it, developing a relationship with the press can be very beneficial to your marketing. When the press is selling your story, you don’t have to.

What group should we cover next? Now accepting submissions for audiences that we will cover in an upcoming “Market To Mondays” post. Submit your ideas via our contact page or in the comments section below.

How to Create a Public Relations Strategy

Why is PR not part of your marketing strategy?

The answer is most likely either:

  1. It doesn’t work as well as other marketing techniques
  2. It takes a PR firm and we can’t afford one
  3. I don’t know how

None of those answers work for me. A good PR strategy is simple and relatively cheap to implement internally, and has tremendous upside potential on your marketing efforts.

What’s better - paying to serve a thousand ads or paying to send out one press release that gets picked up 100 times?

The elements of a good PR strategy take some time to develop:

  1. You’ll want to either sign a deal with a company like Meltwater Press or Vocus to track and analyze each release, or use a service like PRWeb to send releases on a one-off basis.
  2. You’ll want to spend some time crafting stories around your company, your services, and your customers. Stories that are most likely to get published include David vs. Goliath themes, Outrageous or Unusual, Controversy, a spin on how you relate to something Hot in the Media, and Celebrities (thanks to Buzzmarketing).
  3. Develop a keyword strategy that you will use within your press releases you submit online and link back to your website.
  4. Create a frequency plan and stick to it so that you continue to develop new press content.
  5. Keep a press section on your site, showcase all your releases, and give plenty of contact information so that people can reach out and follow up.

Press is good. As a marketer, press should be your friend.